Monday, October 10, 2011

Money saving Monday - Extreme Couponing

Good news… My neighbor CC, who lives right behind me, was out shopping at Wal-mart and a lady noticed her binder and how organized her coupons were. She asked CC if she would mind doing a class showing how she coupons and gave CC her card. She works for a women’s advocacy place. Where they try to teach women how to get back on their feet after a tragedy or who need assistance. My neighbor said she would call her back after she talked to me. I was so excited she told me about it and gave me the opportunity to do this with her. I have wanted to teach a class. So I am going to be expanding my Couponing 101 series and featuring this on my Monday segment Money Saving Monday. I will be writing most of the copy and she will help with graphics and the Power Point. She is much better than I am. If you don’t want to miss the posts, be sure to join via GFC or LIKE Pounds4Pennies on Facebook to receive all the latest updates.  I post more items on these sites than my blog.

Couponing 101

How can I save 60% or more on my shopping trips? I will show you all the basics to learn how to start extreme couponing, where to get free coupons, how to organize coupons and how to stockpile by using coupons. Each store has a sales cycle that runs anywhere from a 6 to 8 week cycle for an item. Then the item will be at a rock bottom price. This is when you want to purchase the item and combine it with a coupon to get the most food for your dollars. 

How and where do you get coupons?

1. Ask your friends if they are going to use their coupons in their Sunday paper. If not, ask if you can have theirs.

2. Purchase 2-6 papers. So you can have multiple sets of coupons. Also Parade Magazine is in the paper and has coupons in there from time to time. And check through the paper. I have found coupons on the back of some of the sections in an ad. A good rule of thumb is to buy as many sets of papers as you have in your family.  Why so many? If there is a good sale on a product you will want to buy as much of that product as you can to have enough to last you until next time that item goes on sale.

3. All You magazine has many coupons in the magazine. It usually over $50.00 in coupons. This usually pays for itself each time I purchase this magazine. It is well worth it.

3. Places of business. Check with your local coffee shop, auto care center or dr. office to see if you can have the coupons from the Sunday papers they receive. I have to say I have never done this, but I have heard you can try.

4. Grocery stores or convenience stores have blinkie coupons. Blinkies are the little smart source machines in the Grocery store that blinks at you to take a coupon. Now that you are looking for them, you will be surprised at how many you will see. Again rule of thumb would be to get 4 or so, but don’t take them all. Leave some for the next person. You probably aren’t going to use them all anyway.
5. Coupon fairies leave coupons by products that they are not going to purchase or they do not want. You may get lucky and find some coupons there. I always leave formula coupons by formula for people with babies.

6. Products have peelies that can be peeled off to use at a later date. These are usually higher in value than other coupons. Also be sure to look to see if there are any peelies on the product you are going to purchase or if there are coupons included inside the product.

7. There are several sites you can print coupons from and some even reward you for printing and using a coupon from their site. I use quite a few printable coupons every week. I recommend getting a cheap laser printer. Some time the printed coupons are a higher dollar value than the ones in the papers. Go to SwagBucks and signup. You will get rewards for using coupons.,, Red and Target are other great resources for coupons. You can normally print these coupons twice. You will need to use another computer to print more coupons.

8. Facebook is a great resource for coupons. Many times if you like the page of a particular item you can then get a printable coupon from them. Please note they will then want access to your friends and your information. After you like them and print your coupon go in and remove that program from your apps to prevent them from gathering your information and your friends information.

9. If you have a favorite product visit their website to see if they have coupons available to print. Check back once a quarter to see if they will refill the coupon prints. At the start of a quarter they will usually reset the coupons for you to print.

10. Call or write the company and tell them how much you enjoy their product. Sometimes they will send you coupons to get the item for free. I know several people who do this and get free items, even for meat products.

Bottom line More Coupons = More Savings

Ok now I have tons of coupons what do I do with them?

How to organize your coupons?

I don’t have the best answer for you, but I can tell you what I do to organize all my coupons. I started with the Clip and go system, then I transitioned to the Binder System. I use the binder method to organize my coupons. I like knowing all my coupons are always at my finger tips whenever I go to the store. This is more time consuming than the other methods I will show you, but you can ensure you will always have your coupons with you.

The CLIP and go System

This filing system is one of the easiest to get started. Take your inserts from the paper and put them in a hanging file folder. Label the folder with the date of the inserts. This is easy and I feel this is the best way to get started so you don't feel so overwhelmed at first. You just pull the insert from the folder and go to the coupon you want and clip it.

Baseball Card Binder System

The second way is the Baseball card holder/Binder system. Purchase baseball card plastic holders and place them in a large binder. You will need at least a three inch binder or bigger and a lot of baseball card holder pages. Cut coupons you would most likely use. File them in baseball card holders. I have seen several different methods used for this.
  • Alphabetically by product name
  • Grocery aisle
  • Categorized by products ie (healthcare, cereal, dairy...)
However your brain works to categorize things is the best way for you. There is nothing set in stone here. You customize this to the way you are going to remember how to find the coupon when you need it in a moments notice. This just depends on how much time and energy you will have to devote to this.
Combination system

Clip the coupons you are most likely going to use and file them according to the baseball card/binder system and organize them. Then the left over coupons you can file in the clip and go system for deals you may still want to get on items you may not normally buy, but you may need later. This is great for seasonal items. I like to wait until a good sale to stock up on.

Ok now you know where to get coupons and how to start organizing them. Take some time and figure out what your plan of action is going to be to acquire coupons and what method you are going to use. Go out and purchase the items you need to get organized and set up your system. This will make it easier as you get more coupons you can file them right away and be done with them.

Leave me a comment on how this goes for you or if you have any questions. I will do my best to help.

Happy Couponing!


  1. I am really impressed the way coupons are organised in their way. I loved the paper cuttings shown.

  2. Thanks. I usually spend around 30 min a day organizing my coupons and looking for additional deals.

  3. Thanks for stopping by my page. i'm following you too! I love this post. I do a combination of the two, and I have a small coupon file that I bring to the store with me. I have that separated by store, so I can plan multiple trips and then just grab that and go.

  4. Thanks for stopping by. Yes I pull out coupons I know I want to use and place them in a page protector I have for each store. Then as I shop I if I find other deals I put them in the pocket.

  5. It is better to deal with this subject like you did instead of beating around. I always like direct articles. Good job

  6. Thanks! I try to write want I would want to read and what I would like to know if I was starting out.

  7. Thanks for a great post! I found it very informative and I found all of your examples very helpful. The themes are great!


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